I’m afraid I have to report that the much hyped sold out M.I.A. show at the 9:30 club last Thursday was a serious disappointment. Her new album is absolutely fantastic. But I can tell you that the opening act, Cool Kids, were far superior to M.I.A. Cool Kids were set up just like Run DMC with two rappers and a DJ on the turn tables in the back. They sang a song called We are the Black Beastie Boys (or something like that) that was unbelievable. They rapped over old school Beastie Boys songs spun by the DJ. There was a real electricity. But M.I.A. seemed like a parody of herself. There was a huge screen in the background which was rather distracting rather than inspiring. Now, I’ve been to some ferocious 9:30 club shows where the artist feeds off the energy of the audience. I’m thinking of some Drive By Truckers, Thievery Corporation and Wilco shows I went to at 9:30. Do you know what tips you off to a good show? It is when not only is the floor dancing and singing like crazy but also when those on the balcony are equally as enthusiastic. I can tell you at the M.I.A. show there was a very tepid response from the balcony (I was on the floor looking up at those up top). There were a few enthusiastic souls but for the most part those up top seemed to be politely listening. And that my friends does not make for a ferocious concert. So in sum, M.I.A. on an ipod or stereo is fantastic but no need to spend 100 bucks on craigs list to go to a show. Additionally, if you like the Beastie Boys go out immediately and purchase a Cool Kids album!